29 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #274 : To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing (after W. B. Yeats)

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing (after W. B. Yeats)

Couch yourself in the comfort of stone
the broken seal, the mouth of earth
and let your heart be hard, let your tears
be gold streaming across your worth

You hear the calls to dismantle even bone
the flag waving in the night, a hearth
breaking like Alexandria across the world
allow your words to unfold engulf give birth

To a moment where you renew, arise
there is not hopelessness in defeat laid prone
the rut you call home will expand, cocoon
your throat will give new life yet, defeat will atone


Yeats' poem:

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors' eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.